The Author: Jennifer Hales
Jennifer Hales is available to give workshops and talks on homelessness and to provide professional development for teachers on teaching about homelessness. Please contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning About Homelessness in British Columbia
Integrating Homelessness Issues into senior social sciences and humanities courses, including Civics 11, Social Studies 11, Economics 12, First Nations 12, Law 12, and Social Justice 12
-Additional administrative support was provided by the Metropolis British Columbia Center of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Diversity
Learning about Homelessness in British Columbia is a resource guide for teachers to use with their students to support aspects of British Columbia senior high school courses, including Civics 11, Social Studies 11, Economics 12, First Nations 12, Law 12, and Social Justice 12. The lessons contained in the resource meet learning outcomes that are part of the mandated curriculum in the British Columbia Ministry of Education Integrated Resource Packages (IRPs). Teachers of other courses and grade levels can adapt lessons as they see fit. The resource is also appropriate for use with other youth and adult groups.
The resource includes:
. a set of activities and lessons on homelessness for teachers to do with their students
.a list of supplementary resources related to homelessness (teacher.s guides, films, books, reports)
The overall goals of the resource are:
. To foster empathy and a sense of justice regarding the suffering of others
. To develop in students a sense of civic responsibility and to encourage their meaningful participation in society
Why Teach about Homelessness?
In the 1970s and 1980s, there was barely any visible homelessness in British Columbia and other parts of Canada. Over the past ten to fifteen years, the number of people who live in severe destitution and deprivation on the streets and in precarious housing situations in towns and cities across British Columbia has dramatically and rapidly increased. Teaching students about homelessness gives them the opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge about the problem, to explore and clarify their views about homelessness, to develop a sense of empathy and justice, to understand that they and society have a responsibility as citizens of a democracy to contribute to ending homelessness, and to understand that policy tools exist to reduce homelessness.
Sections of the Resource
Teacher Backgrounder on Homelessness
13 Activities/Lesson Plans with Black Line Masters
. Films about Homelessness
. Canadian websites with teachers' guides on homelessness
. Reports, articles, books, websites, novels, poetry, music
Presentation to the BC Social Studies Teachers Association, 21 October 2010.